Wedding Festivities

Wedding Festivities (Galicnik, Macedonia)

July 12
It was common practice at one time in the former Yugoslavia for men to leave their villages or even to emigrate in search of higher paying work. On a specific day they would all return to their villages and mass wedding celebrations would be held. Galicnik is one of the last strongholds of this ancient custom, and on St. Peter's Day each year a multiple wedding feast is held. It begins on St. Peter's Eve with a torchlight procession of brides to three fountains where water is drawn for a purification ceremony. The most interesting feature of the wedding ceremony itself is that brides, bridegrooms, and guests knock their heads together. The first night of the marriage is spent in a complicated hide-and-seek game and the newlyweds do not sleep together. There is a great feast on the second day and that night the marriages are consummated.
Because the village of Galicnik is cut off from the rest of the world by snow for much of the winter, it is transformed during the summer, when many former residents and tourists come for the July 12 wedding festivities. Similar village wedding ceremonies are held in the Slovenian towns of Ljubljana (end of July) and Bled (mid-August).
CONTACTS:
Macedonia Ministry of Culture
Ilinden bb
Skopje, Macedonia 01000
389-314-7147; fax: 389-311-3014
www.culture.in.mk
SOURCES:
IntlThFolk-1979, p. 388

Celebrated in: Macedonia

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